This Easy Balochi Sajji Chicken is a quick and simple make at home version of the traditional Pakistani Rotisserie Style chicken. Prepared stovetop as a slow cooked roast rather than skewered and roasted over an open fire, it is just as delicious, with a lot less effort.
Sajji is a style of cooking that is popular in the province of Balochistan, hence the name Balochi Sajji. Traditionally this recipe is made with goat or lamb, but in modern times chicken sajji has become popular as well.
In this traditional version, the meat is simply rubbed with salt, skewered and cooked over an open fire all night long. The final result is meat that is crispy on the outside and soft and juicy inside. Served with some fresh squeezed lemon and a special flat bread called "Kaak", nothing else is needed to complete the meal.
Due to it's long cooking time, Sajji is something usually cooked at special occasions such as weddings or Eid.
Modern Day Sajji
Modern day Sajji is far removed from this traditional version. Now available all over Pakistan as Street Food, it is most often cooked using Chicken. Still skewered and roasted like the traditional sajji, this one sometimes uses a more complex spice blend .
Brining The Chicken Sajji
Brining the chicken makes it much juicier and tender and I would highly recommend it for all of your roasts. I do it with my homemade-deli-roast-beef as well if you've tried that recipe.
How To Brine?
Wash your chicken and pat it dry. Make a solution of water, salt and white distilled vinegar and fully immerse the chicken in it. Place the soaking chicken in the fridge to brine.
How Long To Brine
The required time to brine chicken is 1 hour per pound of meat. Any longer and the meat can actually get a bit mushy.
How Does Brining Help?
- The meat absorbs much of the liquid as it soaks in the water. Despite the fact that the chicken loses some of it's juices during cooking, this absorption means it has excess water content. As such, it still remains very juicy.
- The salt and vinegar help to break up the proteins and reduce the toughness of the meat. The result is very tender meat.
Marinating The Chicken
After the 2 hours are over, I remove the chicken and pat it dry. Next I mix and generously spread the marinade all over it. The chicken then goes back in the fridge for an hour to absorb all of the flavors.
Saute The Chicken
After an hour, take the chicken out of the fridge, heat some cooking oil in a wide pot and saute the chickens, one at a time. This helps seal in the juices so the chicken tastes better.
It's best to saute the chickens one at a time as adding them both together causes the temperature of the oil to drop too much. This prevents a nice even roast on the outside.
Steam The Chicken
After the Saute is complete, Add both the chickens to the pot along with 4 cups of water. Cover and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Let the steam that has been created cook the chicken through.
After about 20 minutes I use my thermapen-one meat thermometer to check if the chicken is done. The thermometer should read 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F. At this point, dry the liquid and repeat the saute to give the chicken a nice caramelized color.
NOTE: If the chicken seems done, remove it from the pot, dry the liquid and then return it to the pot to saute. This will prevent the chicken from breaking apart.
Finishing The Chicken
For the last step, prepare the Balochi masala,by mixing all of the ingredients. Dry roast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds and then grind them to a powder. This ground mixture is then added to the rest of the spices to make a delicious and fragrant spice mix.
After the second Saute, the residual oil and marinade coats the chicken nicely. At this point, drizzle some lemon juice on the meat. This along with the marinade will help the spices stick on the chicken as you generously sprinkle them on.
What To Eat The Sajji With
I hope you enjoy it! Please share your ratings and comments below!
Easy Balochi Sajji Chicken
- 2 whole chicken (SEE NOTES)
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 lemons
- ¼ cup cooking oil (SEE NOTES)
- ½ cup cooking oil (SEE NOTES)
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
Balochi Spice Blend
- 2 tbsp crushed red chilli pepper flakes
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp chaat masala powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp amchur powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp corriander seeds
- Wash the chickens, pat them dry and put them in a clean pot.
- Mix the ½ cup of vinegar, 2 tbsps of salt and enough water to completely cover the chickens.
- Place the chickens and the mixture in a fridge for 2 hours (SEE NOTES).
- Mix together all of the ingredients in the marinade and set aside.
- Then remove the chickens, pat them dry and prick them all over with a fork .
- Apply the marinade to the chickens and put them in the fridge for one hour.
- Dry roast the Cumin seeds and the Coriander Seeds till you can smell a nutty aroma and then grind them.
- Mix all of the spices in the Balochi spice blend including the roasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds and set aside.
- After the marination is complete, heat the ¼ cup cooking oil and saute the chickens and brown slightly on all sides (SEE NOTES).
- Add 4 cups water to the chicken and bring to a boil.
- Cover and lower the heat, to create steam, which will cook the chicken.
- After about 20 minutes, check the chicken to see if it is done (SEE NOTES).
- Once the chicken is cooked through, 165°F - 175°F with a thermometer, turn the flame on full to dry out all of the water and saute a second time.
- Plate the chickens, squeeze the lemons on them and sprinkle the Balochi Spice Blend generously all over.